A team's pinnacle or nadir never comes when you expect it. Sure, records tell you when a team is at their high or low point, but in every season, there's a symbolic moment that tells you the ultimate fortune of a team.
We may have seen that moment Sunday with Marc Rzepczynski's brutal error, and frankly it was pretty funny. So, inspired by Grant Brisbee's look at some Lastros hilarity, let's talk about the most A's play of the year.
Observation #1: A foray into the hilarity that is MLB's video library
Somewhere out there, a poor, disenchanted intern is tasked with finding A's highlights and putting them on the team's official site. Finding highlights for a team that can't hit, pitch, or field is no easy task, especially after a rough sweep at the hands of a not great team.
That's why if you search on the A's website, you'll find a video with this description.
With runners on second and third, Tony Kemp hits a towering fly ball that Coco Crisp catches on the warning track in left to end the 6th
Oakland A's baseball, baby. Where routine becomes extraordinary!
Gomez's huge swings
Carlos Gomez takes a massive swing and loses his balance on a foul, before nearly hitting a homer on another big swing and bat flipping
And people think baseball is boring!
The video is priceless. Carlos Gomez's 2016 season rivals Chris Coghlan's, except instead of giving up Aaron Brooks for that production, the Astros gave up a boatload of prospects. Gomez's sub .200 batting average doesn't stop him from a flawless bat flip on a ball that almost reached the warning track.
Never change, Carlos Gomez.
Observation #2: The aborted throw
Even when baseball players look bad, they usually look good. Middle infielder boots the ball? Smack your glove a few times, casually walk back to your position, and pretend it never happened. Baseball players are universally 80-grade at downplaying their own mistakes.
But there are times where baseball players do look lost, like normal humans playing a totally illogical game. Nothing is stranger than the aborted throw. Even after booting an easy grounder, Scrabble looked at ease spinning towards his target. Had he thrown the ball down the rightfield line? Meh. Dumb, but not that strange. Hold onto the ball and faceplant in the grass like an overzealous college freshman at his first party? Weird as could be.
To me, the aborted throw makes the play. Without it, it's just another error, something we're very much accustomed to.
Observation #3: Stephen Vogt's legkick
Watch the video again. What's going on there?
The best bet is Vogt is moving to allow Marisknik to score. But that's not fun, is it. I have a few other theories, ranked in order of likelihood:
1. Vogt is in the middle of everything, which an unfortunate place to be. He's in the middle of the lineup, often hitting with no one on base. He's behind the dish for the bad pitching staff, and he's in the middle of the field, holding the best view of the worst time in the league.
Vogt is also a leader of sorts. He can't let his inner feelings rein free, partially because swearing on live TV is a fineable offense, and partially because it wouldn't be a good look as a veteran Athletic. So, in lieu of swearing, Vogt's catharsis manifests itself through random twitches. A kick here, a punch there, and Vogt can withstand a season of failures.
2. The guy controlling Vogt's via XBox controller accidentally hit B, likely in a fit of rage.
3. The ghost that tripped Scrabble was going for Vogt next. Having none of it, Vogt gave the ghost a swift kick to the testees.
Observation #4: The A's season anthropomorphized
The Bernie Lean is dead. In its place, I give you whatever this is.
We feel you, Marc.